Do you remember this song? Janet Jackson gave us this deep insight into love back in 1986. (Holla if that makes you feel old.) But here are the great insights we learned about love in this song.
Used to be a time when you would pamper me…Used to brag about it all the time…Your friends seem to think that youre so peachy keen…But my friends say neglect is on your mind…Who’s right? What have you done for me lately
Janet actually does a really good job of capturing our world’s view of love. The problem expressed in this song is what is called lost love or having lost that loving feeling. (Another great blast from the past.) Our world is full of people asking the question what have you done for me lately. The problem that they are expressing is that they lost that loving feeling.
The real problem is the horrible concept of love our world has. Love is not about what someone else has done for you lately. Love is not about a feeling. Love is so much more than our world is looking for and sadly because it is what people are looking for it is also the love they give. The love of this world disappears when the loving feeling no longer makes our stomach do flips and heart beat real fast. The love of this world is always asking what have you done for me lately.
I want you to understand love as God does. That is what I talked about Sunday in my sermon. We are in a new series called Connected. I am teaching 4 characteristics needed in every relationship for it to be healthy. Our relationship with God, our marriage, our family relationships, our friendships, our relationships with acquaintances all are healthier if we exhibit these four characteristics – LOVE, AUTHENTICITY, FORGIVENESS, and COMPASSION.
So we started with love last week. The text was out of 1 John 4. In this passage we hear this truth. “We love because he first loved us.” The very definition of love is the opposite of the songs in our culture. We also hear the truth that “God is love.” God is the very definition of love and the definition of love is to love first. He showed us his love by sending his son as a sacrifice for us – another truth in this passage.
So here is what love really is. Love is action. Love is something we do because we choose to do it. We choose to love not because someone loved us but because we loved them. That is love. (There should only be one love in our life that we are second in and that is the love we have for God.) In all other relationships we must love as God loves. We must love first. We must act and not react. We must do what someone else needs whether they deserve it or not. That is what love is.
Love is not about what you have done for me lately. Love is not about that loving feeling. Sure love is emotional but it is not an emotion. Love is expressed in our actions. There are many feelings that go along with those actions, but love is not the feeling – it is the action.
It is great to be loved. We all need to be loved. But truth is, if you want to be loved – LOVE! Don’t stop and ask what have you done for me lately. Ask what have I done for you lately. Answer that question in the life of someone you love everyday and you will not lose that loving feeling.